Endometrial biopsy can play a role in fertility testing

As part of the fertility testing process, our New Jersey fertility specialist, Jane Miller MD, may perform an endometrial biopsy. This test provides important information about a woman’s uterine lining.

The endometrium, or uterine lining, is the renewable layer of tissue that builds up during the first half of a woman’s menstrual cycle and then bleeds off during her period. It is also where an embryo (derived naturally as a result of intercourse, or in the lab from IVF) will implant.

Dr. Miller explains to her patients that a healthy and receptive endometrial lining is essential for a pregnancy to occur and continue. Without a healthy endometrium, even the best and healthiest embryo will fail to implant. An appropriately timed endometrial biopsy will let Dr. Miller know if the uterus is able to support a pregnancy.

What is an endometrial biopsy?

An endometrial biopsy involves taking a tiny sample of cells from the uterine lining at a certain point in a woman’s cycle.

  • First, our New Jersey fertility specialist gently places a speculum in the vagina in order to visual the cervix, or opening to the uterus.
  • Then, Dr. Miller inserts a very thin plastic catheter through the cervix to the top of the uterine cavity and she obtains a tiny piece of tissue.

The procedure takes no more than 15 seconds, and the patient can resume her normal activities that same day. However, she may notice slight spotting after the procedure.

What can we learn from an endometrial biopsy?

An endometrial biopsy gives our New Jersey fertility specialist a wealth of valuable information.

  • She can assess uterine receptivity, or whether the uterus can allow implantation.
  • She can assess the implantation window, or the days that the uterus is receptive.
  • She can detect if a woman has endometriosis, which can prevent implantation.
  • She can learn if the endometrium has a bacterial infection that can prevent implantation.

Who should have an endometrial biopsy?

Our New Jersey fertility specialist recommends an endometrial biopsy for any woman who:

  • Has experienced implantation failure of genetically normal embryos in an IVF cycle
  • Has experienced implantation failure of A or B grade blastocysts in an IVF cycle
  • Has a history of endometriosis
  • Has a history of dysmenorrhea, or painful periods
  • Has a history of endometritis, or infection of the uterine lining

By taking a detailed medical history, Dr. Miller decides whether an endometrial biopsy will be helpful in diagnosing a patient’s fertility issues. She can then offer appropriate testing and treatment so that a healthy, ongoing pregnancy can be achieved.

Contact us to schedule an appointment, or learn more about fertility testing and treatment.